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Church Bowl
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Church Bowl Tree 

YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Mark Jefferson, Dave Collins, 1970
Page Views: 6,151
Submitted By: Euan Cameron on Feb 1, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (285)
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Jeff Gicklhorn sending Church Bowl Tree

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The technnical crux is down low (getting of the ground) in a polished groove. Nice finger jamming follows with a balancy sequence to gain the bolt belay.

There is a second pitch but this isn't often done.


small nuts and cams, bolt anchor

Photos of Church Bowl Tree Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo: Tyler Casey
Photo: Tyler Casey
Rock Climbing Photo: Cécile starting
Cécile starting
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun fingers.
Fun fingers.
Rock Climbing Photo: Base of route
Base of route
Rock Climbing Photo: James headed for the send of Church Bowl Tree
BETA PHOTO: James headed for the send of Church Bowl Tree
Rock Climbing Photo: P2 anchor 20130205
P2 anchor 20130205
Rock Climbing Photo: Aid soloing CBT.
Aid soloing CBT.
Rock Climbing Photo: Solo aiding CBT on a cool winter day.
Solo aiding CBT on a cool winter day.
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of Church Bowl Tree.
BETA PHOTO: Start of Church Bowl Tree.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lea likes cracks!
Lea likes cracks!
Rock Climbing Photo: Keith on TR, nearing the top of Church Bowl Tree.
Keith on TR, nearing the top of Church Bowl Tree.

Comments on Church Bowl Tree Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 17, 2015
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Feb 2, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This is a great climb to break into valley .10. There is a second crux right at the very end. Also, be sure to sling your nuts on this one, I saw a leader take a fall going for the chains. Top piece held, but the zipper popped two nuts below that. yikes. Also, this is just .10a to get to the first anchor, which is what most people do.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 2, 2007

Is this the climb that begins right behind an old bench? Or am I thinking of something else?
By Rob Dillon
Feb 2, 2007

Is this the climb that feels like the previous 6,923 ascents were made by people with pepperoni grease running down their fingers?
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Nov 14, 2007

George and Bob, you are both correct. Not that technically hard, but greasy for sure.
By Alpine Carl
Jan 2, 2008

For the true Church Bowl Tree Experience, traverse left on small edges below the chains and ascend the arching, left to right crack to the ledge with said "Tree" and an anchor. It is possible to clip the chains before starting the traverse; this would probably afford a little better protection than the infamous nut placements at the top of the "first pitch."
By Osprey Overhang
From: ...
Jan 28, 2010

Grease is the way we are feelin'
By AWinters
From: NH
Jun 9, 2010

"greasiest route in the valley"
By Osprey Overhang
From: ...
Jul 4, 2010

Per Dave Collins, Tom Rohr climbed to where the chains are now at prior to 1970. Dave and Mark Jefferson nailed up to that spot, tension traversed to the left, and used nuts to reach the ledge above. This was done the day the Yosemite riot of 1970 started!

Check out Farretlegger's (the 11th) post on Barry Bate's thread about the day the riots started:

FFA: unknown, by 1982
By Ty Harlacker
From: Albuquerque, NM
Oct 14, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I can't help but wonder how polished it's going to be in 40 more years.
By Jason Albino
From: San Francisco, CA
Apr 24, 2012

Although a little above my general range, I felt this was really hard for the grade as a lead. Assess your needed pro ahead of time as placement positions are generally pumpy, and top anchors are just hanging from the mostly-blank face with no rest position to clip them.

The start is damned-near impossible if the rock isn't bone dry (it wasn't visibly wet in April when we climbed, but the friction feet weren't sticking either).

My partner was stoked to TR this one, but it's a lead I was glad to be done with.
By mattymck
From: Rocklin, Ca
Jun 19, 2012
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Thought this route was a little hard even at 10b only going to the first chains, which is rated 10a. We did do it on a hot and humid August day, so that may account for some of the percieved additional difficulty. Hardest move I thought was getting a stance while holding the sloper on top in order to clip the chains. Fun route.
By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Oct 25, 2012

Imagine sliding across a hardwood floor in woolen socks! Your feet are more harm then good! Excellent route nonetheless. My first .10 in the valley, totally worth it!!
By BrianWS
Jan 28, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Only climbed P1.
Slick down low, but with killer fingerlocks and the occasional jam. The friction improves as the route progresses. The crux seemed to be clipping the chains.
By TacoDelRio
From: All up in yo bidniss.
Feb 5, 2013

P2 if done as aid is an alternating bolt and rivet ladder, with a reach right to the tree. Buncha slings on them with three aluminium rings, in good condition as of 20130205.

Rivets have wing nuts on them so they feel super safe.
By Robbie Brown
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 26, 2013

Great aid practice! Fun to free also but only if you like them manufactured. Pin scarred to shit!
By Justin Skaare
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 13, 2013

This was my first valley lead, first ever trad lead over 5.10, and 3rd climb ever in the valley. Stupid. It does take pretty solid gear though, and I definitely zipped it up. Getting off the ground was not nearly as tough as clipping the bolts.
By Rodger Raubach
May 4, 2013

The first ascender was Mike Jefferson, not Mark!
By Nick Zmyewski
From: Newark, Delaware
Aug 24, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

greasiest route in the valley
By NorCalNomad
From: San Francisco
Aug 25, 2013

Yeah def felt most sketched clipping the chains, first few moves were polished feet but low enough that you could jump down and not mess yourself up.

Wish I would have spent a longer rest before the second 1/2.
By Dr Williams
Aug 11, 2014
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

Very polished. In fact it is right in front of the Church Bowl bench. So it sees a bunch of traffic. Great single pitch to see if you are really ready for 5.10 in the valley.
By Max Rausch
From: Monterey, California
Jul 9, 2015

As already stated, like 10 times above. This shit is SLICK. First 10 feet were the worst. I found it a great introduction to climbing pin scars. Offset cams worked great. I also felt that the last 10 feet of pin scared fingers were the hardest.
By Mike O'Mara
Sep 17, 2015

Slippery in August. Crux was getting off the ground. Clipping the chains off the slopey rail was insecure, but you can plug a blue tcu in the last or second to last pin scar at your waist from the clipping stance.

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